Under The Spotlight

Developing a Social Farming Network
Leitrim Development Company (LDC), has recently signed a contact with the Department of Agriculture to establish and develop a National social farming network in Ireland for the development and deliv
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Social Farming Support Offices (RoI and NI)



The Social Farming Support Offices (RoI and NI) have been established to continue the work of the Social Farming Across Borders (SoFAB) Project

SoFAB was a highly successful EU INTERREG IVA Funded project which operated in the Border counties of Ireland and all of Northern Ireland in the period 2011-2014.

The Social Farming Office (RoI) was opened in April 2015 by the Leitrim Development Company with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture Food & the Marine and the CEDRA Fund. It has been re-established to continue the work of the recently completed and highly successful Social Farming Across Borders (SoFAB) Project and will draw on the lessons learned and materials produced by the project.

The Office continues to support the development of Social Farming throughout Ireland. New Participants in Social Farming activities will be supported and Social farming initiatives will be further developed throughout the country.

The role of the office, which is staffed on a part-time basis by Helen Doherty & Brian Smyth, includes:

  • Provision of advice and guidance to farmers /farm families throughout Ireland who wish to establish social farming services, through information and training events;

  • Assistance in the development of service users and their families’ understanding of the potential and delivery of social farming services;

  • Continue to raise public awareness of social farming through public events, mainstream and social media, engage with and support new initiatives around Ireland which are progressing and developing social farming.


The Social Farming Office (NI) - the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has provided support for the continued development of Social Farming in Northern Ireland through the appointment of a Social Farming Service Coordinator with Rural Support (www.ruralsupport.org.uk). Through this role Rural Support will further develop the network of providers and users and provide new opportunities for individuals to avail of and benefit from Social Farming Activities. 


The SoFAB project was part-financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross-border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body - SEUPB